Progress but not Completion
On June 28 i turned 34 years old. I've always loved my birthday, i am the kind of girl who starts planning activities months in advance. But this year i felt a little less enthusiastic and a little more anxious about how close i was to 35 and how seemingly far i felt from some of the goals i wish to accomplish.
Like everyone on planet earth, 2020 was very taxing. Working from home, wearing mask, frequent bouts of depression, terrible air quality in California, limited socializing and no fun summer plans. 2020 broke me in so many ways, it challenged me as an introvert who couldn't function without seeing people (so ironic), and completely drained me of any creative juices for months.
Entering into 34 (and 2021) it has become clear to me that progress and not completion is enough. Checking major life events off a list is a great feeling (something i love doing). But the one-year timeline we give ourselves to complete it all is and will always be unrealistic. Control can be subjective and more often than not thrown off by any event not within sight, like a pandemic for example. Back in March 2020 when I was naive to think that the pandemic was only going to last a month and life would continue as normal. But one month turned into twelve, with a seemingly slow and at times fraught return to normal.
At 34 i now know that completion isn't something to strive for. Unlike a college course, home or work task, human beings are more complex and constantly evolving. What feels completed today may need to be amended five or ten years from now. I am living the life my 25-year-old self strived so hard for, but my now 34-year-old self loathes.
Progress for me looks like daily letting go of expectations, progress for me looks like doing the best I can and being okay with it, progress for me looks like paying attention to my emotions (the good and the bad) and processing them, and not escaping them, progress is being fully aware of where I am in the here and now, and still being hopeful for the things I want.
Working towards something no matter how long it takes can be equally as rewarding as the desired end result. 33 has taught me to be kind to myself in that way, that I am doing the best I can. 33 paved the way for a more self-aware & God-aware me at 34. And if i am honest, awareness is the best progress i can make.